RFE/RL: DID FORMER GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTER HELP CHECHEN "WARLORD"?
- RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 39, Part I, 28 February 2003
DID FORMER GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTER HELP CHECHEN WARLORD?
Emzar Kvitsiani, who is governor of the Georgian-controlled upper
reaches of the Kodori Gorge, alleged in an interview with the newspaper
"24 saati" that former Interior Minister Kakha Targamadze helped
transport Chechen field commander Ruslan Gelaev and his men from the
Pankisi Gorge to the Kodori Gorge in the summer of 2001 on orders from
Russian Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo, Caucasus Press
reported on 28 February. Many observers questioned at the time how
Gelaev's men could have traveled the length of Georgia undetected.
Meanwhile, "Akhali taoba" on 26 February and "Alia" on 27 February
reported that President Shevardnadze is considering dismissing
Targamadze's successor, Koba Narchemashvili, and either reappointing
Targamadze as interior minister or naming one of Targamadze's close
associates to that post. Shevardnadze's rationale, both papers suggest,
is to ensure that the ministry is headed by a man capable of ensuring
that Shevardnadze's embattled Union of Citizens of Georgia polls the
required number of votes in the parliamentary elections due this fall.